Thursday, January 3, 2008

new year, new ideals

"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment."

I love design. I love decorating. I love inspiring interiors. Yet, despite all this love, I've always felt pulled by some guilt. I hate poverty, I hate how mankind's thoughtless lifestyles are damaging the environment and I hate the overconsumption of materials things and all that that overconsumption reflects about our values - or lack thereof (not to mention how it negatively -most of the time- lends itself to global poverty, unhealthy lifestyles, pollution and decreasing resources). I'm putting it bluntly and oversimplifying it, but you get the point.

I've also always felt strongly about not having to feel guilty for taking pleasure in beautiful things and creativity. It's the way in which we pursue and accumulate beautiful interiors that needs to be checked - in my opinion.

Despite feeling this way, I've filled this blog with 'stuff' - beautiful, fun 'stuff', but 'stuff' nonetheless - without taking much account of what goes on behind the 'stuff'.

So, with this new year, I'm vowing to look more carefully at what I consume and what I promote - on this blog.

I'm reading a great book right now that has some interviewees refering to decorating magazines as 'house porn'. I kinda agree. My apartment is filled with glossies advertizing expensive, gorgeous stuff that tends to make me want more than I already have - as if it might make me happier. I'm a staunch believer that money doesn't make one happier. However, I am also a staunch believer that a home that reflects you and your ideals in a comfortable, thoughtful way is a beautiful and wonderful thing. The great thing is that you don't need a lot of money to get the kind of 'home' so many glossies try to project (because let's be honest - cool furniture does not a home make - a 'home' is so much more).

But before I really let this turn into a rant, let me leave you with a great little video that puts some of these concepts into perspective: The Story of Stuff.

And let me showcase my friend Tracey's before-and-after shots of her small, simple apartment that she recently decorated on a very tight budget with a large, creative imagination. Talk about Bang without the Bucks! She's amazing and always inspirational. Additional photos of her space can be seen here. (photo above is hers as well)

Happy New Year everyone! Blessings and contentment in 2008!


Veronica . . . said...


You articulate something I've been attempting to for a while now.

Another topic for a future conversation. :)

nunu pepe' said...

I totally hear you, I often hear the phrase Decor Porn but never put it quite in the context it spells out. For me I look at images of rooms like little artworks, the colour the shapes the textures. I have no desire to go out an buy any of it I think thats because I have a retail & interior background but for many people it is a desire to own what some one else has and I think that is where the problem lies. I look forward to more of your thoughts on the subject. :)

Cakespy said...

What a lovely post--I agree with Veronica, you really put words to something very difficult to explain. It's interesting how "stuff" makes us who we are but also doesn't necessarily "mean", I'm not sure how to put it quite into words, but rest to say I enjoyed your writeup.

coco+kelley said...

I loved your thoughts on this - sometimes I find myself feeling the same way... I guess I try to look at it as promoting the beauty of things, not necessarily needing them all! But, yes the design mags make that hard to resist. So, I LOVE when people make the best out of what they have - reusing and repurposing vintage and thrift store stuff, or not caring whether the blanket on their couch is Hermes or Target because it's just what they wanted either way. Your friends apartment is amazing, and (it sounds like) a perfect example of this. Thanks for sharing!

LINDSAY said...

Lovely inspiration found here. I'm really enjoying your blog.

Anonymous said...

ive seen those pics before but love then everytime! tracey is insane and completely inspires me :)

as do you with your wonderful blog!!!

xoxo steff

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